An Analysis of LifeKnowledge® Skills and Abilities Development within North Carolina Agriscience Education Programs as Viewed by Veteran Secondary Agriscience Educators, Agriscience Education Students, and Students' Employers
English, Chastity Katrina Warren
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The purpose of this descriptive study was to analyze the LifeKnowledgeÂ® skills development within North Carolina agriscience education programs as viewed by veteran agriscience teachers, agriscience education students, and studentsâ employers. The survey population consisted of 54 veteran agriscience education teachers, of whom 49 (91%) responded. One hundred sixty-two agriscience education students, of whom 115 (71%) responded and 162 employers, of whom 95 (59%) responded. Seventy-four LifeKnowledgeÂ® skills items and the 16 LifeKnowledgeÂ® precepts were evaluated by teachers to determine how often they provided instruction and experiences related to the development of employability skills development for students. The same 74 items and 16 precepts were evaluated by students to determine the extent to which they thought participating in their agriscience education programs and FFA increased their employability and personal skills development. Employers were asked to evaluate how often they witnessed agriscience education students exhibit the LifeKnowledgeÂ® 74 items and 16 precepts within the workplace. The major findings for this study included that teachers, students, and employers were generally consistent, with a few exceptions, in their perceptions of the development and demonstration of the LifeKnowledgeÂ® skills and abilities. Statistically significant differences were found among the three groups on select LifeKnowledgeÂ® skills items and precepts. A majority of teachers reported that they regularly or often provided students instruction and experiences related to the LifeKnowledgeÂ® skills. Students reported that regularly or often their participation in their local agriscience education programs and FFA had increased their employability and personal skills development. The employers reported that often, with a few regular observations, they witnessed students exhibiting the LifeKnowledgeÂ® skills within the workplace. One of the major recommendations for this study is that LifeKnowledgeÂ® lessons be implemented for pre-service and in-service teachers and findings shared with the National FFA Organization. Another suggestion is that an employability skills curriculum should be developed for use across all career and technical education programs and core courses to develop studentsâ employability skills in response to business and industry demands. Finally, research should be conducted to determine how 4-H, career and technical student organizations, and other youth groups develop LifeKnowledgeÂ® skills.
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